The Virtues of the
Month of Sha’ban

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Sha’ban 1436

Sha’ban is the name of the (eigth) month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is so called because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.

Fasting in Sha’ban

‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – PBUH) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim). According to a report narrated by Muslim, “He used to fast all of Sha’ban, he used to fast all but a little of Sha’ban.”

A group of scholars, including Ibn al-Mubarak and others, thought that the Prophet did not fast all of Sha’ban, but he fasted most of it. This is supported by a report in Saheeh Muslim narrated from ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: “I never knew of him – meaning the Prophet (PBUH) – fasting for any entire month apart from Ramadan.” According to another report also narrated by Muslim, A’ishah said: “I never saw him fast for any entire month from the time he came to Madeenah, apart from Ramadan.”

It was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did not fast any entire month apart from Ramadan.” Ibn ‘Abbas regarded it as makrooh to fast any entire month apart from Ramadan. Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “He observed more voluntary fasts in Sha’ban than in any other month, and he used to fast most of Sha’ban.”

Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban.’ He said, ‘That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.'” (Narrated by al-Nasa’i). According to a report narrated by Abu Dawood, he said: “The most beloved of months for the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to fast in was Sha’ban, and his fasting in Sha’ban was continuous with his fasting in Ramadan.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albani)

Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Fasting in Sha’ban is better than fasting in the Sacred Months, and the best of voluntary fasts are those that are (observed in the months) closest to Ramadan, before or after. The status of these fasts is like that of al-Sunan al-Rawatib which are done before and after fard (obligatory prayers) and which make up for any shortfall in the number of obligatory prayers. The same applies to fasts observed before and after Ramadan. Just as al-Sunan al-Rawatib are better than other kinds of voluntary prayers, so fasts observed (in the months) before and after Ramadan are better than fasts at other times.

The phrase “Sha’ban is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan” indicates that because it comes between two important months, the Sacred Month of Rajab and the month of fasting, people are preoccupied with those two months and they do not pay attention to Sha’ban. Many people think that fasting in Rajab is better than fasting in Sha’ban, because Rajab is one of the Sacred Months, but this is not the case.

In the hadeeth quoted above there is an indication that even though certain times, places and people may be commonly thought to posses a particular virtue, there may be others that are better than them. It also indicates that it is mustahabb (recommended) to make good use of the times when people tend to be negligent, by doing acts of worship. A group of the Salaf used to fill the time between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ with prayer, saying that it was a time when many people were negligent.

Another example is the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) in the marketplace, because this means one is remembering Him in a place where people tend to be negligent and among people who are negligent. There are a number of benefits that come from making good use of times when people are often negligent, and using these times for worship, including the following:

It is more concealing of one’s good works, and hiding and concealing nawafil (supererogatory) actions is better, especially fasting, because it is a secret between a slave and his Lord. Hence it was said that there is no element of showing off in fasting. One of the Salaf used to fast for years without anybody knowing about it; he would go from his home to the marketplace carrying two loaves of bread, which he would give away in charity, and he would fast. His family thought that he ate the bread, whilst the people in the marketplace thought that he had eaten at home.

The Salaf thought it was mustahabb for a person who was fasting to do things that would conceal the fact that he was fasting. It was reported that Ibn Mas’ood said: “When you get up in the morning and you are fasting, then apply perfume.” Qutadah said: “It is mustahabb for the [man] who is fasting to apply perfume so that there will be no sign that he is fasting.”

By the same token, doing righteous deeds at times when people are distracted and negligent is more difficult. One of the indications of how virtuous a deed is, is how difficult it is: if everyone is doing a certain action, it is easy, but if most people are negligent, this makes it more difficult for those who do remember Allah.

Muslim narrated from the hadeeth of Ma’qil ibn Yasar: “[The Prophet (PBUH) said:] ‘Worship at times of tribulation (fitnah) is like Hijrah to me.'” (The phrase “worship at times of tribulation” refers to times of upheavals and trials, when people follow their own desires, and those who adhere to Islam are doing something difficult.)

The scholars differed as to the reasons why the Prophet (PBUH) fasted so much in Sha’ban. Their various opinions were as follows:

That he had been unable to fast three days out of every month because he was traveling or for some other reason, so he made them all up together in Sha’ban. When the Prophet (PBUH) began to do some nafl (supererogatory) action, he would persist in it, and if he missed it, he would make it up later.

It was said that his wives used to make up the days that they missed of Ramadan in Sha’ban, so he used to fast because of that. This is the opposite of what was reported from ‘A’ishah, that she used to delay making up days that she had missed in Ramadan until Sha’ban because she was too busy with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to fast.

It was said that it was because this is a month which people do not pay attention to. This is the most correct view, because of the hadeeth of Usamah quoted above, in which it says: “That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan.”

When Sha’ban began, if the Prophet (PBUH) still had some voluntary fasts outstanding that he had not fasted, he would make them up during Sha’ban so that his nafl fasts would be complete before Ramadan came.

Similarly, if he had missed some Sunnah prayers or he had missed Qiyam al-Layl (night prayer), he would make it up. ‘A’ishah used to make the most of this opportunity to make up any obligatory Ramadan fasts that she had missed because of menstruation; during other months she was too busy with the Prophet (PBUH) to fast.

We should also note here that anyone who has any missed fasts to make up has to make them up before the next Ramadan comes. It is not permissible to delay it until after the following Ramadan except in cases of necessity (such as a valid excuse that continues between the two Ramadans).

Whoever is able to make them up before the (second) Ramadan and does not do so, has to make them up after the (second) Ramadan and in addition to that, he has to repent and to feed one poor person for each day that he missed. This is the view of Malik, al-Shafa’i and Ahmad.

Another benefit of fasting in Sha’ban is that it is a kind of training for the Ramadan fast, in case a person finds it difficult to fast when Ramadan starts; if he fasts in Sha’ban he will have gotten used to fasting and he will feel strong and energetic when Ramadan comes. Sha’ban is like an introduction to Ramadan and it has some things in common with Ramadan, such as fasting, reciting Qur’an and giving in charity.

Salamah ibn Suhayl used to say: “The month of Sha’ban is the month of reciters (of the Qur’an).” Habeeb ibn Abi Thabit used to say, when Sha’ban came, “This is the month of reciters (of the Qur’an).” When Sha’ban came, ‘Amr ibn Qays al-Mala’i used to close his store and devote his time to reading the Qur’an.

Fasting at the end of Sha’ban

It was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim from ‘Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (PBUH) said to a man, “Have you fasted anything of the sirar of this month?” He said, “No.” He said: “If you have not fasted, then fast two days.” According to a report narrated by al-Bukhari: I think he meant Ramadan. According to a report narrated by Muslim, (the Prophet – PBUH) said: “Have you fasted anything of the sirar of Sha’ban?”

There was some dispute as to the meaning of the word sirar. The most well known view is that it refers to the end of the month. The end of the month is called sirar because the moon is hidden at that time. Someone may raise the point that it was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Do not pre-empt Ramadan by one or two days, except for those who have the habit of fasting regularly, in which case they may fast.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

How can we reconcile the hadeeth which encourages fasting at this time with the hadeeth which says not to fast at this time? The answer is: many of the scholars and most of those who commented on this hadeeth said: this man to whom the Prophet (PBUH) addressed this question was known to have the habit of fasting regularly, or else he had made a vow, so the Prophet (PBUH) commanded him to make up his fast. There are also other points of view on this issue.

In brief we may say that there are three scenarios for fasting at the end of Sha’ban: The first scenario is when a person fasts at the end of Sha’ban with the intention of being on the safe side and not missing the first day of Ramadan. This is forbidden.

The second scenario is when a person fasts with the intention of fulfilling a vow or of making up a day of Ramadan that he missed or as an act of expiation (kaffarah), etc. This is permissible according to the majority.

The third scenario is when this is purely a voluntary fast. This is regarded as makrooh (disliked) by those who said that we should differentiate between Sha’ban and Ramadan by not fasting for a while. Among those who said this was al-Hasan. If it happens to coincide with a day when a person habitually fasts, Malik and those who agreed with him permitted this, but al-Shafa’i, al-‘Awza’i, Ahmad and others made a distinction between cases where it is a fast which a person habitually observes or otherwise.

In conclusion, the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah quoted above is what we should follow according to the majority of scholars. It is makrooh to observe a voluntary fast one or two days before Ramadan for those who do not habitually fast on those days and who have not previously fasted until the end of Sha’ban.

It may be asked: why is it makrooh to fast just before Ramadan (for those who do not have a prior habit of fasting)? The answer is that there are a number of reasons why this is so, such as:

Firstly: lest extra days be added to the fast of Ramadan that are not part of it. Fasting on the day of Eid is prohibited for the same reason, lest we fall into the same trap as the People of the Book with regard to fasting, as they added to their fasts because of their own whims and desires. For the same reason it is also forbidden to fast on the “day of doubt”.

‘Ammar said: whoever fasts on this day has disobeyed Abu’l-Qasim (PBUH). The “day of doubt” is a day when people are not sure whether it is Ramadan or not, when news of the sighting of the crescent moon comes from one whose word cannot be accepted. As for a cloudy day, some of the ‘ulama’ said that this was also a ‘day of doubt’ and said that fasting was not allowed on this day. This is the view of the majority.

Secondly: to make a distinction between fard (obligatory) fasts and nafl fasts, because making a clear distinction between fard actions and nafl actions is prescribed in Islam. Hence it is haram to fast on the day of Eid, and the Prophet (PBUH) forbade following an obligatory prayer immediately with another prayer unless they are separated by saying salam or speaking, especially in the case of the Sunnah prayer performed just before Fajr. It is prescribed to make a clear separation between this prayer and the obligatory prayer. Hence it is prescribed to pray it at home and to lie down afterwards.

When the Prophet (PBUH) saw a man praying at the time when the iqamah had been given for Fajr, he said to him: “Al-Subh is four rak’ahs?” (Narrated by al-Bukhari).

Some ignorant people may think that the reason why we do not fast just before Ramadan is so that we can make the most of eating and have our fill of our desires before we have to deny ourselves by fasting. This is an ignorant mistake on the part of those who think this.

Source: Missionislam.com
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The virtues of Shaban

In the name of Allah…

Praise be to Allah who has created the place and time.

And peace be upon Muhammad who observed more fasting in Shaban

And peace be upon his family, companions and upon all those who adhered to the Glorious Quran.

The virtues of Shaban are a gift from Allah the Bountiful, the Bestower.

Osama son of Zaid –May Allah be pleased with them- said: I said O messenger of Allah: I didn’t see, you Fasting in any month as saw you do in Shaban?

He -peace and blessings be upon him- said: “That’s a month the people neglect it between Rajab and Ramadan, and in that month- Shaban- the people deeds are raised to the Lord of mankind, so I love to be fasting, while my deeds are raised.”

«يا رسول الله! لم ارك تصوم شهرا من الشهور ما تصوم من شعبان؟! قال: ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه، بين رجب ورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين، فأحب أن يرفع عمل، وأنا صائم»

Why it is called Shaban?

Shaban is a name of a month (one of the lunar months), it was called with this name because the Arabs were scattering in it searching for water or scattering in wars or because it appears between Rajab and Ramadan (two lunar months).

The prophet’s fast in Shaban: whereas Shaban is considered as a preparation for Ramadan, it’s preferable for Muslim to fast some days in it.

Narrated Aisha: “Allah Apostle used to fast till one would say that: he would never stop fasting! And he would abandon fasting till one would say that: he would never fast! I never saw Allah’s Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan and didn’t see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Shaban”[Bukhari]

«كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم حتى نقول لا يفطر، ويفطر حتى نقول لا يصوم، فما رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استكمل صيام شهر إلا رمضان، وما رأيته أكثر صياما منه في شعبان»

She also narrated “Shaban was the most beloved month to Allah’s Prophet to fast in it till the beginning of Ramadan” [Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]

«كان أحب الشهور إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن صومه شعبان ثم يصله برمضان»

Ibn Hajar said that: “this Hadith indicates the virtue of fasting in Shaban.” [belogh el maram]

Imam Ibn Rajab (one of Muslims scholars) said: “as to the prophet’s fasting during the year, he used to fast in Shaban more than any other month” [lata’ef el ma’aref]

Imam AlSanany said: “this hadith proves that the prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- was fasting in Shaban more than any other month” [sobol el salam]

The wisdom of the prophet’s much fast in Shaban

Osama son of Zaid – may Allah be blessed with them – narrated “I said:…O Messenger of Allah why don’t I see you fast on other months like your fasting in Shaban?!”

The Prophet said “that is a month (Shaban) which people neglect between Rajab and Ramadan. In that month the people deeds are being raised to the Lord of Mankind, so I love that that my deeds are being raised while I’m fasting” [Declared as Hasan by Al-Albani]

«يا رسول الله! لم ارك تصوم شهرا من الشهور ما تصوم من شعبان؟! قال: ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه، بين رجب ورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين، فأحب أن يرفع عملي، وأنا صائم»

A diagram shows the priority of months as to fasting:

The best Fasting after Ramadan is on the days of the sacred month (Muharram).

Prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- used to fast on Shaban more than any other month.

Regarding fasting, the rest of months are equal except some days which we were recommended to fast them like Arafah, Ashura and six days of Shawal,…etc)

Imam Ibn Rajab -May Allah bestows him his mercy- said about the wisdom of Shaban fasting “as the prophet Muhammad mentioned, whereas Shaban comes between two great months, Rajab (one of sacred months) and Ramadan (fasting month), the people occupied themselves with them and neglected Shaban. Also a lot of people think that fasting reward in Rajab which is a sacred month is better than Shaban fasting, but this isn’t true) [lata’ef-alma’arf book]

The scientific signs in Shaban Fasting

It was scientifically proved that the human body in the first Fasting days began to consume its stored reserves of fats, Proteins and others, to compensate the shortage resulting from reducing food. As a result, some poisons (adrenalin hormone) flow in blood before the body throws them out with the leftovers. That is why the fasting man feels some symptoms like headache, weakness, quick-tempered, bad temper and he may abuses others and that obliges him, sometimes to break his fast.

After few days of fasting, these symptoms disappear when the hormones ratio in blood return to their nature, with Allah’s will.

The voluntary Shaban fasting is considered as training on the obligatory fasting of Ramadan and to remove the fasting hardship in the beginning of Ramadan…Almighty Allah has the best knowledge….

Fasting at the end of Shaban

Narrated Abu Hurira-may Allah be pleased with him- the Prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- said “none of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (voluntary) (and if his fasting coincides with that day ) then he can fast that day” [Declared Authentic by Albani & Tirmizi]

«لا تقدموا شهر رمضان بصيام قبله بيوم أو يومين، إلا أن يكون رجل كان يصوم صوما فليصمه»

An example of that is the one who has a habit of fasting on Monday and Thursday, so he can fast them even at the end of Shaban.

The prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- also prohibited fasting on the (day of doubt) thirtieth of Shaban unless it was coinciding with his habit of fasting.

The innovations of the fifteenth night of Shaban

1-   All kinds of celebrations at that night whether meeting for religious observances, recitation of poems or feeding people and to consider that these deeds are a stated Sunnah while they aren’t.

2-   Praying Alalfia or Albarae prayer at that night.

3-   Also praying fourteen, twelve or six Rakat at that night.

4-   To specify Ishah (night) prayer, at that night, with recitation of Surah YaSin or certain number of surah Al-Ekhlaas or specifying that night with a certain invocation; called (the fifteenth of shaban night invocation, they may also stipulate praying two Rakat or reciting surah Ya-Sin (one chapter of the holy Quran) before this invocation to be accepted. Among the innovations of this night also, is to specify its day with fasting or charity or to believe that the fifteenth night of Shaban is better than the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

The juristic ruling of celebrating at the 15th night of Shaban

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz son of Baz –may Allah bestow his mercy upon him- was asked about the 15th night of Shaban and if it has a special prayer?

He answered: (there is no sound hadith indicating the virtue of this night and all the reported a hadith in its virtue are weak or fabricated. It’s an ordinary night and has no special recitation, prayer or meeting and the saying of its specialty is a weak opinion.

Source: Islamway.net
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What is Shabaan? Virtues,
Fasting and 15th night of Shabaan

Introduction

It is admitted fact that every moment, second, minute, hour, day or night that is spent in the submission of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet (SAW) is exceedingly meaningful and precious. But there are some days, nights and months which have their own weight and Allah, the compassionate, lays immense stress upon them to unveil their importance to his rationale creatures.

What is Shabaan?

Among those months, those hold much importance is Sha’ban and the holy month of Ramadhan, The Holy Month of Sha’ban is one of the blessed months that holds much too for us from the mercy, compassion and kindness of Allah Almighty. Sha’ban is the name of the (eigth) month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is so called because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.

Fasting Entire month of Shaban?

‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – PBUH) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

She also narrated “Shaban was the most beloved month to Allah’s Prophet to fast in it till the beginning of Ramadan” [Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]

According to a report narrated by Muslim, “He used to fast in Sha’ban.”

A group of scholars, including Ibn al-Mubarak and others, thought that the Prophet did not fast all of Sha’ban, but he fasted most of it. This is supported by a report in Saheeh Muslim narrated from ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: “I never knew of him – meaning the Prophet (PBUH) – fasting for any entire month apart from Ramadan.”

According to another report also narrated by Muslim, A’ishah said:

“I never saw him fast for any entire month from the time he came to Madeenah, apart from Ramadan.”

It was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did not fast any entire month apart from Ramadan.” Ibn ‘Abbas regarded it as makrooh to fast any entire month apart from Ramadan. Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “He observed more voluntary fasts in Sha’ban than in any other month, and he used to fast most of Sha’ban.”

DA’EEF HADITHS ABOUT THE NIGHT OF 15TH SHABA’AN

Apart from fasting in the month of sha’ban that has been proved authentic by above narrations, there is a concept of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the 15th of Sha’baan). Which infact is like any other night, and there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to indicate that on this night the fate or destiny of people is decided.

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390.

The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.

In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis.

There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven.

It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak.

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.

Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.

Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning.

Virtue of praying, fasting and worshipping on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) does not come under the heading of da’eef (weak), rather it comes under the heading of mawdoo’ (fabricated) and baatil (false). So it is not permissible to follow it or to act upon it, whether that is in doing righteous deeds or otherwise.

A number of scholars ruled that the reports concerning that were false, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Mawdoo’aat, 2/440-445; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in al-Manaar al-Muneef, no. 174- 177; Abu Shaamah al-Shaafa’i in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith, 124-137; al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom il-Deen, no. 582. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] narrated that there was consensus on the fact that they are false, in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 28/138.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (Ruling on celebrating the fifteenth of Sha’baan):

Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan) by praying etc, or singling out this day for fasting, is a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) according to the majority of scholars, and there is no basis for this in sharee’ah.

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan). All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions.

The innovations of the fifteenth night of Shabaan:

1- All kinds of celebrations at that night whether meeting for religious observances, recitation of poems or feeding people and to consider that these deeds are a stated Sunnah while they aren’t.

2- Praying Alalfia or Albarae prayer at that night.

3- Also praying fourteen, twelve or six Rakat at that night.

4- To specify Ishah (night) prayer, at that night, with recitation of Surah YaSin or certain number of surah Al-Ekhlaas or specifying that night with a certain invocation; called (the fifteenth of shaban night invocation, they may also stipulate praying two Rakat or reciting surah Ya-Sin (one chapter of the holy Quran) before this invocation to be accepted. Among the innovations of this night also, is to specify its day with fasting or charity or to believe that the fifteenth night of Shaban is better than the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

Fatwa from scholar of Makkah bin baz whom we follow most:

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz may Allah bestow his mercy upon him- was asked about the 15th night of Shaban and if it has a special prayer?

He answered: (there is no sound hadith indicating the virtue of this night and all the reported a hadith in its virtue are weak or fabricated. It’s an ordinary night and has no special recitation, prayer or meeting and the saying of its specialty is a weak opinion.

And Allah knows best!
Jazakallahu Khair for reading.

We wish and pray that May Allah keep us away from bida’ah and give us strength to follow the only path of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)!

The Month of Sha’ban and
Misconceptions Related to its Virtues

There are many practices related to the month of Shaaban common amongst Muslims that are not supported by any authentic hadith of the prophet (s). This post summarizes some of those mistakenly held beliefs. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: “Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed those ahadeeth of the prophet (s) as da’eef (weak), and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.” (Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.)

Similar to other matters, care should be taken to verify those ahadeeth, even though some of those ahadeeth mention a chain of narrators. As Muslims, we have been cautioned to not attribute anything to the prophet (s) that he (s) did not say. It makes no difference whether such an attribution is intended for good or for evil intentions.

We see that in the stern warning contained in the words of the prophet (s.a.w.) in which he said: “Whoever tells a lie about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 10; Muslim, 4.) (Source: islamqa.info).

Here is an explanation of some of those mistakenly held beliefs and the various explanations of the known scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnah (followers of the Sunnah of the prophet.)

No special virtues for middle of Shabaan

One of the very common but mistaken beliefs has to do with attributing special virtues to the 15th of the month of Shaaban. The reality, however, is that the hadith literature lacks the evidence of any authentic ahadith related to this topic. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen states the following:

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report (A Hadith that traces a statement directly to the Noble Prophet (saw) without any break in the chain of reporters) that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even  in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.).

Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose chain of narrations do not go back further than the time of Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak).

These (weak) reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis (lack of any authentic hadith), it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by (such ignorance)… And Allah knows best.

Singling out the Middle of Shaaban for special worship is not allowed

Based on the above, therefore, the middle of the month of Shaaban should not be singled out for special worship. In this context, the scholars have stated the following:

… if a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is fine. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Shaaban because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Shaaban ) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh hadith texts).” (islamqa.info)

Fasting on the last day of Shaaban is not allowed

The third issue has to do with fasting on the last day of Shaaban, which is also referred to as the “day of doubt.” It is so called because at times it is not possible to ascertain whether that day is the start of Ramadan or not. There are a number of ahadith and scholarly opinions on this issue some of which are as follows:

‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” This was narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 553.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “It was understood from this that it is haraam to fast the day of doubt, because the Sahaabah would not say such a thing based on personal opinion, so a report such as this has the same status as a marfoo’ hadeeth.

The Prophet (S) said: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1914; Muslim, 1082. So if a person is used to fasting on Mondays, for example, and that coincides with the last day of Sha’baan, then it is permissible for him to observe that as a voluntary fast and it is not forbidden for him to do so.

The scholars have stated concerning the day of doubt, “The Sunnah indicates that it is haraam to fast this day (last day of Shaaban).” (Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/117).

Weakness of the Hadith Related to Forgiveness on the 15th of Shaaban

A weak hadith that is circulated on this issue states that it was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbors hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390. (The “one who harbors hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.)

There is some scholarly difference of opinion as to the soundness of such ahaadeeth. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, especially as it relates to Allah descending to forgive sins. For such ahadith, the isnaads (chain of narrations) are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak. Many other scholars have attributed this hadith to be as weak because of the weakness of the chain of narrators.

The scholars have maintained that Allah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Shaaban is included in this general meaning.

Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allah on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, he said to the one who asked him: “…The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!” (Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92.)

Source: islamqa.info

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The virtues of Shaban

Why it is called Shaban?

Shaban is a name of a month (one of the lunar months), it was called with this name because the Arabs were scattering in it searching for water or scattering in wars or because it appears between Rajab and Ramadan (two lunar months).

The prophet’s fast in Shaban: whereas Shaban is considered as a preparation for Ramadan, it’s preferable for Muslim to fast some days in it.

Narrated Aisha: “Allah Apostle used to fast till one would say that: he would never stop fasting! And he would abandon fasting till one would say that: he would never fast! I never saw Allah’s Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan and didn’t see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Shaban”[Bukhari]

«كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم حتى نقول لا يفطر، ويفطرحتى نقول لا يصوم، فما رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استكمل صيام شهر إلا رمضان ، وما رأيته أكثر صياما منه في شعبان»

She also narrated “Shaban was the most beloved month to Allah’s Prophet to fast in it till the beginning of Ramadan” [Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]

«كان أحب الشهور إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يصومه شعبان ثم يصله برمضان»

Ibn Hajar said that: “this Hadith indicates the virtue of fasting in Shaban.” [belogh el maram]

Imam Ibn Rajab (one of Muslims scholars) said: “as to the prophet’s fasting during the year, he used to fast in Shaban more than any other month” [lata’ef el ma’aref]

Imam AlSanany said: “this hadith proves that the prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- was fasting in Shaban more than any other month” [sobol el salam]

The wisdom of the prophet’s much fast in Shaban

Osama son of Zaid – may Allah be blessed with them – narrated “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah why don’t I see you fast on other months like your fasting in Shaban?!”

The Prophet said “that is a month (Shaban) which people neglect between Rajab and Ramadan. In that month the people deeds are being raised to the Lord of Mankind, so I love that that my deeds are being raised while I’m fasting” [Declared as Hasan by Al-Albani]

« يا رسول الله! لم ارك تصوم شهرا من الشهور ما تصوم منشعبان؟ ! قال : ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه ، بين رجبورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين ، فأحب أن يرفع عملي، وأناصائم»

A diagram shows the priority of months as to fasting

The best Fasting after Ramadan is on the days of the sacred month (Muharram).

Prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- used to fast on Shaban more than any other month.

Regarding fasting, the rest of months are equal except some days which we were recommended to fast them like Arafah, Ashura and six days of Shawal,…etc)

Imam Ibn Rajab -May Allah bestows him his mercy- said about the wisdom of Shaban fasting “as the prophet Muhammad mentioned, whereas Shaban comes between two great months, Rajab (one of sacred months) and Ramadan (fasting month), the people occupied themselves with them and neglected Shaban.

Also a lot of people think that fasting reward in Rajab which is a sacred month is better than Shaban fasting, but this isn’t true) [lata’ef-alma’arf book]

The scientific signs in Shaban Fasting

It was scientifically proved that the human body in the first Fasting days began to consume its stored reserves of fats, Proteins and others, to compensate the shortage resulting from reducing food. As a result, some poisons (adrenalin hormone) flow in blood before the body throws them out with the leftovers. That is why the fasting man feels some symptoms like headache, weakness, quick-tempered, bad temper and he may abuses others and that obliges him, sometimes to break his fast.

After few days of fasting, these symptoms disappear when the hormones ratio in blood return to their nature, with Allah’s will.

The voluntary Shaban fasting is considered as training on the obligatory fasting of Ramadan and to remove the fasting hardship in the beginning of Ramadan…Almighty Allah has the best knowledge….

Fasting at the end of Shaban

Narrated Abu Hurira-may Allah be pleased with him- the Prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- said “none of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (voluntary) (and if his fasting coincides with that day ) then he can fast that day” [Declared Authentic by Albani & Tirmizi]

« لاتقدمواشهر رمضان بصيام قبله بيوم أو يومين، إلاأن يكون رجل كان يصوم صوما فليصمه»

An example of that is the one who has a habit of fasting on Monday and Thursday, so he can fast them even at the end of Shaban.

The prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- also prohibited fasting on the (day of doubt) thirtieth of Shaban unless it was coinciding with his habit of fasting.

The innovations of the fifteenth night of Shaban

1- All kinds of celebrations at that night whether meeting for religious observances, recitation of poems or feeding people and to consider that these deeds are a stated Sunnah while they aren’t.

2- Praying Alalfia or Albarae prayer at that night.

3- Also praying fourteen, twelve or six Rakat at that night.

4- To specify Ishah (night) prayer, at that night, with recitation of Surah YaSin or certain number of surah Al-Ekhlaas or specifying that night with a certain invocation; called (the fifteenth of shaban night invocation, they may also stipulate praying two Rakat or reciting surah Ya-Sin (one chapter of the holy Quran) before this invocation to be accepted. Among the innovations of this night also, is to specify its day with fasting or charity or to believe that the fifteenth night of Shaban is better than the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

The juristic ruling of celebrating at the 15th night of Shaban

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz son of Baz –may Allah bestow his mercy upon him- was asked about the 15th night of Shaban and if it has a special prayer?

He answered: (there is no sound hadith indicating the virtue of this night and all the reported a hadith in its virtue are weak or fabricated. It’s an ordinary night and has no special recitation, prayer or meeting and the saying of its specialty is a weak opinion.

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In the name of Allah…..

Praise be to Allah who has created the place and time.
And peace be upon Muhammad who observed more fasting in Shaban
And peace be upon his family, companions and upon all those who adhered to the Glorious Quran.
The virtues of Shaban are a gift from Allah the Bountiful, the Bestower.

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Osama son of Zaid –May Allah be pleased with them- said: I said O messenger of Allah: I didn’t see, you Fasting in any month as saw you do in Shaban?

He -peace and blessings be upon him- said “That’s a month the people neglect it between Rajab and Ramadan, and in that month- Shaban- the people deeds are raised to the Lord of mankind, so I love to be fasting, while my deeds are raised”

« يا رسول الله! لم ارك تصوم شهرا من الشهور ما تصوم من شعبان؟ ! قال : ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه ، بين رجب ورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين ، فأحب أن يرفع عملي،وأنا صائم»

Translated by Wathakker.net website
Source: Wathakker.net
Source: Ummah.com

Virtues of Sha`ban

Sha`ban is the month in which the deeds done throughout the year ascend to God.

Sha`ban is a month of good that introduces the great month of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast voluntarily during this month more so than in any other month.

One of the motivations for that, as we will mention below, is that Sha`ban is the month during which the deeds performed by the servant ascend to God. What follows is a discussion around fasting during the month of Sha`ban.

Usamah  ibn Zayd relates: 

“The Prophet used to fast so many days in succession that we said, ‘He will never break his fast.’ At other times he would go without fasting for so long until we said, ‘He will never again fast;’ except for two days, which he would fast even if they occurred during the times he was not fasting consecutive days. Furthermore, he would not fast in any month as many days as he fasted during Sha`ban.

I said: ‘O Messenger of God! Sometimes you fast so much it is as if you will never break your fast, at other times you leave fasting for such a long stint it is as if you will never again fast (voluntarily); except for two days that you always fast.’ He asked: ‘Which two days are those?’ I replied: ‘Monday and Thursday.’

The Prophet said: ‘Those are two days in which the deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds are presented while I am fasting.’ I said: ‘I do not see you fasting in any month like you fast during Sha`ban.’ The Prophet said: “That is a month occurring between Rajab and Ramadan that many people neglect. It is a month in which the deeds ascend to the Lord of the worlds, be He Mighty and Majesty, and I love for my deeds to ascend while I am fasting.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa’i)

The narrations conveying this meaning are numerous. Among the important points conveyed by the tradition narrated by Usamah (may God be pleased with him) is that the Prophet frequently fasted during Sha`ban, as is supported by a tradition mentioned by `A’ishah (may God be pleased with her). She said: “I did not see the Messenger of God fast any month in its entirety except Ramadan, and I did not see him fast as frequently in any other month as he did during Sha’ban.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Among the reasons for that, as mentioned in the initial tradition, is that Sha`ban is the month in which the deeds done throughout the year ascend to God. The Prophet, peace upon him, wished for his deeds to ascend while he was fasting. This should be sufficient motivation for all of us to fast some days of this month. Fasting purifies us of the physical dross that collects in our system and makes our spiritual faculties sharper. What could be a better state could we be in as our deeds are ascending to our Lord? However, there are other reasons to fast during this month, which we will present shortly.

Islam & Moderation

Another very important point that we can gain from these narrations is that the Prophet did not fast perpetually, even though it would not have weakened him to do so. In this is an important lesson for us. We should balance between the days that we fast and the days that we refrain from fasting. Ibn Rajab mentions many reasons for this. Among them are the following:

1- For many people, excessive fasting leads to languidness that in turn makes it difficult for them to supplicate or invoke God or to undertake intense study. All four of the Sunni Imams mention that studying sacred knowledge is better than supererogatory prayers, and that supererogatory prayers are better than voluntary fasting. Hence, pursuing sacred knowledge is naturally better than voluntary fasting.

2- Just as fasting may make some people languid and hence affect their worship, it may weaken them and thereby compromise their ability to provide for their families or jeopardize their ability to fully satisfy their wives. This latter meaning is implied in the saying of the Prophet: “Surely your wife has a right over you.”

3- Similarly, a person’s body has a right over him, as indicated by the Prophet’s saying: “Indeed your body has a right over you. Be sure to give everyone so deserving his right.”

4- Finally, a person’s life might be long, as indicated by the Prophet’s saying to `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas when the latter committed himself to fast every other day: “Perhaps you will live a long life”.

This means whoever commits to an overly strenuous regimen of worship during his youth might not be able to maintain that regimen during his old age. If he tries his utmost to do so he might exhaust his body.

On the other hand, if he abandons it he has left the best form of worship, that done most consistently. For this reason, the Prophet mentioned: “Undertake religious practices you can bear. I swear by God, God does not become bored with you, rather you bring boredom upon yourself”.

The important issue here is to understand that Islam does not demand that we torture our selves, and it places no virtue in doing so. When a desert Arab who had accepted Islam returned after a year’s absence to see the Prophet his entire appearance had changed to such an extent that the Prophet did not recognize him. When he finally realized who he was, the man said to him: “I have not eaten during the daytime since I entered Islam!” The Prophet asked him: “Who ordered you to torture yourself!?”  (Abu Dawud)

Another point mentioned by many of the scholars in that regard is that by fasting sometimes and then going some days without fasting, we never reach a state where we totally lose our appetite for food and thereby lose the physical challenge of fasting. For this reason the Fast of David, where the worshipper fasts every other day, is considered more virtuous than the fast of the individual who fasts perpetually, as the latter eventually feels no longing to eat during the day of his fast—he might even become sick were he to eat.

Sha`ban & Good Deeds

The tradition of Usamah mentions that people’s deeds are presented to God on Mondays and Thursdays, and the Prophet loved to have his deeds presented while he was fasting. There are many narrations that affirm this reality.

Ibn Majah relates a tradition from the narrations of Abu Hurairah, where he mentions the Prophet saying: “God forgives every Muslim on Monday and Thursday, except those who have broken relations with each other. He says, ‘Leave them until they reconcile’.”

Imam Muslim mentions a similar narration from Abu Hurairah in which he mentions that the Prophet said: “The gates of Heaven are flung open on Monday and Thursday and every servant who has not ascribed partners to God is forgiven, except a man who harbors enmity against his brother. He (God) says, ’Leave these two until they makeup’”. A different version of this tradition mentions at the end of the narration: ”…and people who despise each other are left harboring their spite”.

These narrations emphasize the importance of maintaining good relations. There are other religiously significant actions where a reward is withheld from those who harbor enmity or have bad relations with their peers. Therefore, it is extremely important that we work to maintain good relations with each other, and avoid petty bickering. The opportunity to do much good for our souls is missed when we fail to maintain good relations with each other.

The presentation of people’s deeds mentioned in these narrations is a specific one that occurs on these particular days. It does not contradict the general presentation that occurs on a daily basis, as related in the following tradition: “By night and by day the angels follow each other in visiting you. They gather (before God) at the time of the morning and evening prayers. God asks those who spent the night among you, and He knows best the answer, ‘In what state did you leave my servants?’ They say, ‘We came to them while they were praying, and we departed from them while they were praying.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

There are other reasons we are encouraged to fast in Sha`ban, Ibn Rajab mentions a few. Among them, in summary:

1- People tend to neglect Sha`ban as it occurs between Rajab, one of the sacred months, and Ramadan, the great month of fasting and Qur’an. Therefore, we are encouraged to fast it by way of reviving it and not neglecting it.

2- Fasting during it is easier to hide. All observant Muslims are fasting in Ramadan, and many place great emphasis on fasting during Rajab. Therefore, those who fast Sha`ban are doing so against the expectations of most people and can therefore more easily hide the fact that they are fasting.

There is great virtue, under normal circumstances in hiding our voluntary acts. One anecdote in this regard mentions a man who fasted voluntarily for forty years without anyone knowing it, even his family. Every morning he would leave home with two loaves of bread in his hand. He would give them away in charity. His family thought that he was eating them, and the people in the marketplace where he worked thought that he was selling them.

3- A third reason is related to the previous one. Because many people are fasting during Ramadan and Rajab, it is easier to fast then as large groups engaging in a particular act of worship make it easier for an individual to undertake that act. Hence, the increased difficulty of fasting during Sha`ban led the Prophet to place great emphasis on it.

In conclusion, we encourage everyone able to do so to fast as much as possible during this month. By so doing we will revive the Sunnah of our Prophet and bring much good to our souls and to our communities.

May everyone be blessed to use these days as a preparation for the great month of Ramadan, and may our deeds ascend to God while we are in the very best spiritual state.

Source: Newislamicdirections
Source: The-faith.com

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Virtue of Fasting in Rajab and Sha`ban

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Brother, we really appreciate your forwarding this question to us, and we commend your keenness on getting yourself well-acquainted with the teachings of Islam. May Allah help us all keep firm on the right path, amen!

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have recommended fasting during the four sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab). Therefore, a Muslim is generally recommended to observe fasting in these sacred months, and Rajab is one of them. It is also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting in Sha`ban more than he did in other months.

In response to your question, prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad AhmadAl-Musayyar, professor of Islamic creed and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, stated.

Fasting is a spiritual act of worship, which elevates one to the rank of angels, as one abstains from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.

In general, a Muslim should fast some days every now and then; in these days, one abstains from worldly matters, strengthens his or her resolution, and purifies his or her soul.

However, no authentic hadiths are stated indicating that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended fasting in the month of Rajab, nor did he forbid fasting in it, according to Imam An-Nawawi, who added that fasting in general is recommended.

Still, it is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended fasting during the Four Sacred Months, among which is the month of Rajab.

As for the month of Sha`ban, there are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during it, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A’ishah who said, “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast. And I did not see Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Sha`ban.”

The hadith indicates that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast many days in Sha`ban that `A’ishah said in another narration, “He [the Prophet] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days).”

Except for these two months, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting continuously to the extent that people would say that he would not break fasting.

He also used to keep breaking the fast for many consecutive days to the extent that people would say that he would not fast.

So the matter depends on feeling comfortable and devoted to worship without feeling bored or weary. That is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do (good) deeds that are within your capacity, as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards until you get tired of doing good deeds.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “The most beloved deed to Allah is the one its doer performs regularly even if it were little.” (Muslim)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Source: Onislam.net